BAY COUNTY, Fla. - A Bayou George man bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake three times lives to tell the tale. He's now warning others out there about just how serious snake bites can be.
Mike Geralds two small dogs were just inches away from a dangerous snake on his back deck. Geralds feared for his dog's safety and went to remove the snake, thinking it was just a "rat snake" and non-venomous but he was wrong.
"When it bit me right here, that's when I realized, I'm holding a Rattlesnake," said Bayou George Resident, Mike Geralds.
He was bitten three times, twice on the right hand and once on the left.
"I really didn't know what to do. I walked in the house and told my wife I've been bit by a Rattlesnake and she said you need to go to the hospital and I was like, well I have no symptoms," said Geralds.
For ten minutes he had no pain or symptoms and thought nothing of the bites. As a precaution, he called 911 and soon after his hands began to swell. He brought the snake with him to the hospital so doctors could identify it and properly treat him, but with modern medicine, bringing a snake is no longer necessary, in fact it's even considered dangerous.
"Even after a snake is dead, they can still maintain a bite reflex so even if you kill it and bring it.. if it still has a head, it could be a potential danger to both you and the medical staff," said Emergency Room Physician, Joshua James.
He was treated with an anti-venin called Crofab and considered lucky. He spent three days in the ICU and now that he's back at home, will re-evaluate their flower beds and look closer for snakes. Doctors at Bay Medical say if bitten by a snake, call 911.
Do not try and self remedy the wound with a tourniquet, and do not try and cut the wound and suck out the venom. Be cautious of all snakes regardless of whether or not they are believed to be venomous.
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